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By | Paul Kunert 7th December 2011 14:43

Acer CEO: No more 'cheap and unprofitable' products

Sets sights on ultrabooks...

Acer is plotting a return to profits that partly rests on the success of the ultrabook after revealing it is close to completing its operational and management overhaul.

The Taiwanese giant posted losses for the past two consecutive quarters as it dealt with an inventory crisis caused by a consumer spending freeze made worse by its inflexible business supply chain.

But accordion to reports, CEO JT Wang who replaced Gianfranco Lanci in March - the first in a wave of senior management departures - says the turnaround plan is almost entirely implemented.

"The legacy of previous management reshuffle and operational restructuring is almost over. We will shift our strategy to improving profitability from pursuing market share blindly with cheap and unprofitable products," he said at an internal sales meeting.

The global PC arena has grown by small single digits in 2011 with fondleslabs hogging the limelight, but the ultrabook is seen by traditional PC makers as the great hope for next year although prices must fall before volumes will ramp.

"Ultrabooks will become our key growth driver next year as customers want a lighter, thinner notebook with longer battery life. Selling more ultrabooks will also help improve our profit margins as they command higher prices," said Wang.

Closer to home, Acer UK - which recently parted with its boss Bobby Watkins - is going through a very small restructure as it tries to beef up the commercial sector for 2012 with the consumer market expected to face continued challenges.

The Taiwanese giant remains the largest player in UK retail PCs, accounting for roughly one in four machines sold according to GfK data, but is a relative bit part player in the professional markets.

Neil Marshall, UK head honcho at Acer, told The Reg it wanted to maintain consumer market share but expected major growth next year to come from the business space and wanted an organisation to reflect that.

"We are going through a restructuring exercise at present," he said but was unable to reveal further details at the time of going to press.

According to well-placed sources, a very small batch of redundancies are taking place, including that of Alicia Shepherd, Acer SMB and distribution channel manager.

Shepherd was unavailable to comment at the time of writing. ®

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